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Curiosities

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  • First Annual Report of the Acclimatisation Society of Southern Queensland – 1897 – Robert Logan Jack’s Copy

    First Annual Report of the Acclimatisation Society of Southern Queensland – 1897 – Robert Logan Jack’s Copy

    Fragile yet very scarce original report published at Warwick, Queensland in 1897. Printed at the Argus in Palmerin Street, Warwick.

    The principal object of the Society was to introduce fish (trout), birds (pheasant, partridge, quail) for the purposes of promoting gentlemanly country pursuits.

    Famed geologist, explorer, and author Robert Logan Jack’s copy with his signature clear top right front cover despite edge chipping,

    The report covers the year ending 31st July 1897 and includes a Balance Sheet with Appendices. The Office Bearers are listed on the front cover … the President being His Excellency Lord Lamington.

    13 pages starting with a nice plan of the Society’s facilities during establishment at Killarney. The narrative report includes Finance; Work of the Society; Fish; Birds all dealt with by the Chairman Arthur Morgan. Then a “Report of the Manager” W.G. Morris regarding his achievements to date … which include the building of a “substantial 4-roomed Veranda Cottage, in which I reside”. A list of Rainbow and Brown trout distributed to several rivers is provided. Those of an accounting bent will notice that the Balance Sheet takes the form of a Statement of Receipts and Expenditure and appears to be in the red … well that’s start ups for you.

    A curious rather unique Queensland item – Logan Jack’s Copy.

    $90.00

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  • Australein und der Hinterindische Archipel c 1825

    Australein und der Hinterindische Archipel c 1825

    A unsophisticated but scarce early 19thC map of Australia, Asia, and the Pacific east to the Sandwich Islands [Hawaii].

    26cm by 20cm in the printed area. Good condition. Engraved by D Huber of whom little is known … often confused with the earlier engraver of that name. The cartographer is a mystery to be completely solved. Huber worked with Carl Stein, but we would say this map is too early for Stein. It is similar in style by Franz Biller although again this is earlier in cartographic detail, so could be a work from which Biller’s map is a derivative. None of Stein, Huber or Biller appear in the Australian Map Authority by Tooley nor in his definitive list of Map Makers. Likely Austrian c 1825.

    Likely original partial colouring or at least sympathetic. Australia (here Neu Holland) complete but coastline out of “true” in many instances. Tasmania shown as van Diemens Ins and the North and South Islands of New Zealand carry their Maori names. The cartography of New Guinea is starkly incorrect not to be properly charted for some time to come.

    Unusual early map requiring some further study.

    $160.00

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  • Original Page with a Woodcut of a View of Nineveh (Iraq) from the Liber Chronicarum [Nuremberg Chronicles] – 1493 / 1497

    Original Page with a Woodcut of a View of Nineveh (Iraq) from the Liber Chronicarum [Nuremberg Chronicles] – 1493 / 1497

    A genuine “incunabulum” … i.e., printed before 1501.

    The Nuremberg Chronicle published in 1493 was written and compiled by Hartmann Schedel (1440-1514) a physician from the German city of Nuremberg. The text was published in Latin and German … this version being in Latin and, is also known as the Liber Chronicarum (Book of Chronicles). Given that moveable type had only been invented some forty years earlier the “Chronicles” were published at the height of early printing activity and, at the time, represented the most heavily illustrated work yet published. In 1497 Schedel again published the work printed by Johann Schonsperger in Augsburg. This example is likely from that edition which turns out to be harder to find than the 1493 edition.

    Page size 28cm by 20cm on thick sturdy paper, strong impression with very black ink. The foxing spots are obvious but exaggerated on the scan … a very good example.

    The engraving is of the city of Nineveh in modern day Iraq. It is a woodcut and was set into the type block before printing. The rather bold colouring is typical when coloured and contemporary. The illustrators employed were Michael Wohlgemut (1434-1519), Wilhelm Plydenwurff (1460-1494) and likely, the to become great, Albert Durer (1471-1528) who was apprenticed to Wohlgemut. The image itself is a fantasy and the Nuremberg Chronicles include many views that are used for multiple location … for example this image is also used for Alexandria, and regardless of that, careful study will confirm a more European style of architecture … more like Nuremberg really. Wilson’s book “The Making of the Nuremberg Chronicle” is a super reference on this mysterious element.

    Five hundred years plus old incunabulum, Nineveh from the Nuremberg Chronicle.

    SO SORRY SOLD

    $280.00

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  • Sir Samuel Walker Griffith’s – Literal translation of The Inferno of Dante Alighieri. [Printed Draft Signed and Gifted to Governor of Queensland] 1903

    Sir Samuel Walker Griffith’s – Literal translation of The Inferno of Dante Alighieri. [Printed Draft Signed and Gifted to Governor of Queensland] 1903

    A unique item, a printed DRAFT of S.W.G’s mammoth translation of Dante’s Inferno. More so as it is signed by S.W.G. as a gift to the then Queensland Governor Sir Herbert Chermside.

    Printed by Powell & Company, Adelaide Street Brisbane … legal and Government Printers, in 1903. Octavo softcover, probably later basic re-enforcement to spine. 136 pages comprising in its entirety of The Inferno and a Title which is a repeat of the cover. Aged somewhat externally with darkening to the card boards. Internally bright and clean with a few tears to the inner crease of one gathering, nothing troublesome. S.W.G’s minor correction by hand in three spots. The final work, itself very scarce was published in Sydney in 1908.

    Sir Samuel Walker Griffith GCMG QC (1845-1920) politician, Premier of Queensland, Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia, and a principal author of the Constitution of Australia. In 1865 he gained the T.S. Mort Travelling Fellowship and spent most of his time in Italy becoming very much attached to the Italian people and their literature. This the first translation of Dante by an Australian is a remarkable body, scarce, indeed unique in this form.

    The Draft of a little known and important work by a leading light in the history of Australia

    $370.00

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  • Film Fun Annual 1957 – Starring Laurel and Hardy

    Film Fun Annual 1957 – Starring Laurel and Hardy

    If you don’t know who Laurel and Hardy were then this book is probably not for you … if you do then it will be … pure nostalgia.

    Printed in London.. Gordon & Gotch were the Australian Agents. Perfect bound, generally in good condition for its age and undoubted use.

    Large format, 128 pages with much more content than others of this style and format. Several cartoon stories each of the comedy adventures of Laurel and Hardy; Abbot and Costello; Red Skelton; Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis and the picture boy Frankie Howerd (before he went Up Pompeii). Some in colour … the whole interspersed with full narrative adventure stories.

    Film Fun in 1957 – Times have changed for sure

    $35.00

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  • Ventriloquism For Beginners – A Complete Set of Lessons in the Art of Voice Magic – Douglas Houlden

    Ventriloquism For Beginners – A Complete Set of Lessons in the Art of Voice Magic – Douglas Houlden

    Published by Kaye & Ward, London revised in 1967. Large octavo, 63 pages with numerous sketches and photographs. A nice copy.

    A super guide … a bit like playing the didge … practice makes perfect and here we have the techniques carefully explained. Advanced ventriloquism includes … the muffled voice, the distant voice, drinking (whilst talking) etc. After learning how to do the basic letters and covering up the B’s with G’s we have the most challenging “Labial Sounds”.

    All without moving your lips …

    $40.00

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